Ben Affleck will direct and star in Ghost Army, a new World War II film for Universal. Prior to his casting as Batman in the early installments of the DC Extended Universe, Affleck experienced a nice career comeback working behind the camera. The trio of Gone Baby Gone, The Town, and Argo were all critically acclaimed (with Argo winning Best Picture), cementing Affleck as one of this generation’s premier directing talents. His 2017 crime drama Live By Night didn’t live up to its potential, but that was mostly due to extenuating circumstances related to Affleck’s time in the DCEU.
Now that he’s hung up the cape and cowl, Affleck is free to pursue whatever films fancy him. He’s starring in a few notable upcoming films (like Gavin O’Connor’s Torrance), but he’s also been eyeing potential directorial projects. Last summer, he reportedly signed on to helm a film based on the true story of the McDonald’s Monopoly scam, but in the wake of the Disney/Fox acquisition going official, that one seems to have fallen by the wayside. In the meantime, Affleck is targeting a different kind of film to make next – but one that will surely get cinephiles buzzing.
According to The Wrap, Affleck will direct, produce, and star in Ghost Army, which is based on the book The Ghost Army of World War II. True Detective’s Nic Pizzolatto will write the script. The story details “a little-known maneuver into Germany during World War II.” Those interested in familiarizing themselves with the topic might want to check out the Netflix documentary Ghost Army.
The past couple of years have been rather tumultuous for Affleck on a professional and personal level, with constant rumors about his future as Batman and a stint in rehab making headlines. But it’s nice to see him land back on his feet and move forward with the next phase of his career. As indicated earlier, Live By Night was hamstrung by Affleck’s DCEU commitments, and he didn’t have the necessary time to fully develop it as he saw fit. Thankfully, all of those distractions are now in the past and Affleck should be able to fully dedicate himself to making Ghost Army the strongest film possible. This certainly has the makings of a powerful awards contender if all the pieces fall into place.
It’s also refreshing for viewers to see Affleck look to tackle some new subject matter. Most of his films are in the crime genre, and while that’s certainly a rich realm for cinema, one of Live By Night’s perceived shortcomings was that it retreaded material Affleck handled better in previous endeavors. World War II is definitely no stranger to the movies, but it should still be interesting to see what Affleck brings to the table. Recent WWII films, like Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, showed it was still possible to innovate in this sandbox, so hopefully Affleck delivers something special with Ghost Army.
Source: The Wrap